Eating my way through recipe books

IF I ate a different meal every day from now until I die — and assuming I didn’t die until I was 183 years old — I still wouldn’t have eaten my way through all the recipes that choke the drawers in our kitchen.

They say the third drawer down in any kitchen in the world is full of junk. That’s true; but in our kitchen the junk happens to be recipes.

And they’re in the second drawer, too. And the first.

We have recipes cut from the top of cereal packets, from the bottom of cheese wrappers, soaked off tins, snipped from magazines, peeled from bottles. We have books of recipes for the Busy Businesswoman, the Frantic Mum, the Gourmet Hostess, the Party Animal, the Seductive Lover. For the Italian, French, Japanese, Korean, Hawaiian and — God help us! — the Thuringowan chef; for the city cook, the suburban cook, and the rural cook.

If we lived in the bush we would never starve and if the cities ever run out of food I’m sure my wife will have a recipe somewhere for cooking bricks.

And when I say it will take another 122 years to eat my way through her recipes (assuming I eat them for breakfast, elevenses, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner and supper) I am talking about throwing them all — all the little bits of dog-eared, torn, worn, yellowing, worm-eaten cardboard and paper — into a pan and roasting, grilling, baking, boiling frying and fricasseeing them until they go soft, and consuming them garnished with recipe sauce and washed down with a beer made from fermented recipes.


Why do women do this!

What’s the point!

We have all these recipes but we still eat bacon and eggs for breakfast on Sundays; we still have macaroni cheese once a week; and antipasto for Saturday lunch.

And you don’t even have to cook antipasto! You just lay it out on a plate!.

I don’t mind. I love all that stuff. I’ll eat it from now until eternity, unless my wife calls my bluff and starts cooking the recipes.

But why do we collect all this other stuff? Quails eggs in raspberry and edelweiss sauce? Moose and almond terrine with seakale dressing?

“I can dream, can’t I?” sulked my wife.

Well… yes. I dream. I read magazines about furniture I could make and how I’d like bits of the garden to look. But after that I keep the information in my head. I don’t choke every flat surface in the kitchen with them – because I know they’re dreams.

And that’s the difference. Maybe it’s a male/female thing. Maybe it’s just us two. Who knows?

And I don’t have time to discuss it. Lunch is ready. Moose and almond terrine with seakale dressing.

No, not the real thing… just the picture, atop lightly puffed rosettes of cardboard box and delicately fragrant strips of magazine text.

Only another 121 years, 364 days to go…